Introduction

Have you noticed your car’s fuel economy dropping drastically? Your car’s wheels may have a role to play in its poor fuel efficiency. The ways in which wheel size affects a car’s fuel economy are discussed below:

Wheel Size and Fuel Economy

Wheel size plays a crucial role in determining the fuel efficiency of a car. There is a growing tendency among car owners to buy larger wheels. While this can add to the visual appeal of your car, it may not always be the best choice for getting optimum fuel efficiency. Bigger-sized wheels will need bigger tyres. Bigger tyres can increase rolling friction and increase drag. This puts more pressure on the engine. The car’s engine has to consume more fuel for moving the car forward. Hence, using larger wheels can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency and increase the cost of running the car.

You should also consider the width of the wheels. Wider wheels will need wider tyres. Though each car has a recommended wheel size and width mentioned in the owner’s manual, people buy aftermarket wheels. These wheels may not always comply with the prescribed measurements. wider tyres mean more surface area contact with the road. This can improve your ride quality by providing better traction and control. However, wider tyres also create more resistance to coasting. The car’s engine will have to work harder to maintain its speed. This can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency considerably.

How to Maintain Wheels for Best Fuel Efficiency

Buying the right wheels and maintaining them regularly can improve fuel efficiency. To get started, always maintain the right tyre pressure. Underinflated tyres not only reduce your car’s fuel efficiency, but they are also dangerous for your road safety. They do not provide enough grip and control on the road while driving. You may be unable to maneuver the car as required. The car will fill sluggish to accelerate and difficult to stop immediately. Underinflated tyres can increase road friction and drag that can reduce the fuel economy.

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You should also choose the tyre tread wisely. If you do not do off-road driving, then buying tyres with clunky and heavy treads is not recommended. Such tyres will only provide you more road grip than is needed based on your driving needs. They will reduce the car’s fuel economy due to increased road grip and rolling friction.  

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